Looking Like A Season…

Darius Soriano —  November 26, 2011

How u?

Very good, thank you very much.

The wait is over as the owners and players have tentatively agreed to terms on a new CBA that will end the NBA lockout. The deal will need to be ratified by vote by both the players and owners, but that’s seemingly a formality at this point. The plan is to start a 66 game season on Christmas Day with a triple-header that will likely include the Lakers taking on the Bulls as the original 82 game schedule had planned.

We’ll have more details on the actual terms of the deal when we know them but for now, CELEBRATE. The lockout has been lifted and, before you know it, we should have actual basketball to watch.

Darius Soriano

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56 responses to Looking Like A Season…

  1. this one’s for … Warren!
    ok, now the big question is, how does this new agreement affect the Lakers?
    let the conversations begin again!

    1) do the Lakers get to waive Luke?
    2) what moves can be made in the 2 weeks prior to the opening of the season?
    3) I read free agency opens, (and training camp) on Dec 9.

    and what network will carry the games this year? that new deal doesn’t kick in until next year right? (forgot, was it Time warner?)

    OK, that’s enough for starters …

  2. i think our team’s prestige and title contender status should make LA an appealing destination for ring-chasers. that pool is a bit bigger this year due to the amnesty clause owners will invoke.

    man, here in vegas basic cable includes prime ticket/fox sports. with the time warner deal, i may have to buy league pass. any nevadans know what the deal is?


    Still have to hope there are no snags on the remaining less-important issues. But assuming this goes through…

    It looks like Dwight Howard (ugh) to the Lakers is still a possibility (or Paul, or anyone) as the Melo Rule did not pass. Extend-and-trade deals should still stand.

    The midlevel’s shrunk, but from a cursory reading, it looks like it’s equal for all teams so we benefitted on that front.

    What will really matter to Lakers fans:

    -The revenue sharing plan. Which, as of yet, has not been worked out. This is what I’m really waiting to see. If they force Buss to divy up the new TV deal and upwards of $50 mil/year to crappy teams, then you have to imagine our spending will become more restrictive. Which means the Luke/Sasha type contracts will only hurt much, much more.

    -How strict the luxury tax penalties are. If the original 4x tax passed (which I doubt), it’s essentially a hard cap. The players would have never agreed to that, but I’m curious to see how much worse the tax gets. I’m also interested to know if the new tax will take place immediately, or if we’ll have 2-3 years (Kobe’s best remaining years) to compete and then reduce payroll.

  4. I also wonder: by raising the minimum salary floor, aren’t NBA owners shooting themselves in the foot? Teams might be forced to overspend on middling talent just to make the minimum level. And worse for us, since small market owners know they may actually spend more, this might make the push for robust revenue sharing even stronger.

  5. Snoopy,
    Raising minimum salary, while eliminating/shortening some of the more expensive middle-range contracts, will probably result in a lower overall payroll.

  6. Ex – if the salary floor (for a team, not for individual contracts) is raised to $49 million (85% of a $57 cap, rough guess), then for a team that was (e.g.) at $35 million last year, wouldn’t the elimination of expensive mid-range contracts be an irrelevant point? Regardless of where/how intelligently the money is spent, the team would be required to increase their payroll by $14 million, would they not? Maybe I’m misunderstanding the new rule.

    The flip slide is that the owners have recovered over $300 million in BRI, so a higher team salary floor might not be a big enough concern to push for even more revenue sharing.

  7. 6) Snoopy,
    Sorry, I didn’t read your first comment closely enough.

    Now that the smaller market teams will be getting more revenue, they can pay higher overall salaries and still be profitable. The larger-market teams were going to be paying more than the salary floor anyway. This will end up spreading the players salaries out more evenly, which will (theoretically) make the league more competitive.

    I’m really curious to see how this CBA will affect Miami’s ability to field a decent roster around the big three.

  8. Thanks Chris H!

    Ring chasers will be plenty, but the Lakers need to be wise about who to pick up. They basically trade Luke (most probably amnesty guy) for another MLE.

  9. Three words: BASKETBALL!!!!!! WOO HOO!!!!!!

  10. Bye bye B.R.I. & C.B.A. …. Hello & Welcome back N.B.A.

    Now we just need for the parameters of the deal to be released so we can get a clear and full understanding of how we’ll be affected. Only then will we be able to stratergize and get in GM Mode. In the time being, lets all celebrate the return of the Greatest Athletes in the World.

  11. Couldn’t be happier right now. Looking forward to spending the season with you all.

  12. Some people may have shopped at Walmart or Best Buy yesterday, but I think the league and players got the best Black Friday deal!

  13. Thank any and every deity out there. This was becoming way to much. I love the hustle of the college guys. But there is no substitute for NBA basketball.

  14. I went to bed late last night, had a headache, sore throat and just couldn’t stay up any longer, waiting for updates. Had my cell near me though and kept waking up and checking…. and when I finally saw that the tentative agreement had been reached, I felt such a relief. And fell back asleep.

    A lot of speculation now obviously – we’ve got holes to fill and the shortened free-agent period’s gonna be insane… a feeding frenzy. I don’t think we’ll pull the trigger on a huge package deal. I think probably, the gaps will be filled with vet minimum and the available exceptions. The wild card’s Odom – his value’s high right now and he’s priced to move. I hope they don’t trade him. But, keep your ears open for Varejao rumors.

  15. disregard my post re: time warner. new channel won’t premiere until 12-13 and it will be available in southern nevada.

  16. I think life just got a lot better for all of us. At least for the next two year while the Lakers still have great players.

  17. it’s like coming back home after being away for a long time, nice to see some of the old names again. Warren, Dude, Aaron… (is Fisher going to start for the Lakes again the year? any new PG prospects? didn’t we get one in the draft?) anyway, good to see some life back in the old site, (maybe it’s been here all along, and it’s just me getting back in touch).
    feeling nostalgic, anyone remember ol’ John R? (I know Kurt would, we had some fun with him, cantankerous guy that he was).
    so who’s going to be the team to beat in the West? and the East? Dallas, Miami? who else? Thunder? Bulls?

  18. Excited to see what Mitch can pull off,and how Brown and the new staff install two new systems in 16 days. Since Bynum won`t be available, whoever they bring in at C will be expected to play extended minutes from the 1st game.

  19. The part I am worried about is Revenue sharing. If that’s big, then we have a problem, but if it turns out to be relatively small, than the small market owners just killed themselves.

    Shorter contracts by itself means that there’s a possibility for bigger paydays for still-productive players out of their rookie contracts, increased base spending means that there’ll be competition for marginal players, and harsher taxes mean that locations that offer more than salaries will become even more sought after.

    Now that makes Miami an even hotter ticket without their income tax… but we’ll see how things shake out.

  20. Good to be back. And I’m in LA for Christmas and a few days after. I was beginning to think that this trip would be Staples-free for me. I need a schedule so I can start to plan!

  21. Oh we’re here all along Chris, don’t you worry bout that. We just have new posters that also deserve their share of the limelight… and our efforts to make this family big and strong shall prevail.

    Onto issues: the Lakers need to really think about the many issues surrounding team building, payroll, talent management, adaptability to the new coach, amnesty, Free Agent pickups and possible use or non-use of the MLE. This is the time we consider ALL aspects and try to ponder about our future as a team, to live under the new CBA.

  22. Happy days are here again! I’m excited for the season, but I hope the players didn’t take too much of a hit. This is going to be a busy 20 odd days until the season starts!

  23. Word is there will be both a stretch exception AND an amnesty clause. So each team can waive two players. Under the stretch exception, you spread the waived player’s contract over 2x+1 years (where x is the original length of the contract). Most useful for long contracts.

    I’m seeing conflicting reports on the details amnesty clause, but according to PBT, 75% of the waived player’s salary is wiped from the cap.

    The question will be if we will/need to use both. It’s hard to speculate until we know what the revenue sharing plan is. No team will be affected more by that plan than us.

  24. Hurrah!!!

    What a Christmas present for us all, an NBA season after all…

  25. Well, with the amnesty clause, we can pretty much safely say that Luke is gone. He probably would have been gone even if we kept the triangle, but now there is no reason to keep him as he’s not an NBA-caliber player anymore.

  26. Well… The new CBA has been announced… And the NBA has in effect cut off its nose despite its face. The NBA has been at its best when super teams have dominated the league. Consider that time over as long as this CBA is in practice. Tax paying teams will pay a much stiffer penalty, tax paying teams will only be able to offer a MLE of 3 million per year instead of 5 million by non tax paying teams and with one less year, and tax paying teams won’t be able to take part in sign and trades in an effort to acquire the talent they will no longer be able to obtain via free agency. The NBA let the awful franchises in weak markets bring the league to its knees. It’s a very sad day for NBA basketball.

  27. Aaron @ 27 says: “It’s a very sad day for NBA basketball.”

    Put another way, it’s a great day for poor management. Since that is such a plentiful “resource” at all levels in our culture, hard to imagine it needs to be nurtured and encouraged, but there you go …

  28. I’m not sure if this stipulation has been included in the agreement reached between the NBA and the players as of yesterday, but in prior discussion of the amnesty clause, it has been stated that only contracts signed during or after the upcoming shortened free-agency period are eligible to be waived with the said clause. Obviously this would make talk of waiving Luke’s deal moot (given that the above assumption is correct).

  29. the other Stephen November 27, 2011 at 12:27 am


  30. Aaron, it’s true in a way, the new deal has a hint of the current economic crisis the country is in, taxing the “1%” of the top tier teams, are we seeing the beginnings of CLASS WARFARE! Oh my! feels like the league is turning socialist!
    seriously though, I tend to agree with you that they have taken away, (or the start of taking away) the glory of the elite teams, these teams are like Hollywood superstars, they have a reason that they draw top dollars, it’s the nature of business itself.
    Imagine SAG (screen actors guild, who also have the top 10% earning 90% of the total income for the union) saying to Brad Pitt and Jack Nicholson that they have to share their high salaries with the bottom 90% who barely earn enough to call it a hobby?
    but all that aside, I still do believe teams like the Lakers, celtics, Mavs and Spurs, etc are going to maintain their allure and appeal to players, because the cities are cooler, and the legacy of the teams.

  31. Snoopy, I have a copy of the tentative proposal and coming from someone who’s studied the last version quite a bit, I believe its merely ONE amnesty, not two.


  32. Warren – Weird, it won’t let me view the full pdf even after I sign in. I was using Kurt as a source, from PBT:

    “There will be a “stretch” provision in the deal that allows a team to buy out a player and waive him, but spread his deal over a longer period of time (double the length of the contract plus one year) so as not to be such a cap hit. For example, if a player has three years, $30 million left on a deal and the teams want to waive him, they would have him on the official books for seven seasons at $4.3 million…

    Call it the Eddy Curry rule.

    • There also will be an amnesty clause in this deal that will allow teams to waive one player and wipe that salary almost totally off the books (75 percent goes away). This is similar to what was done in 2005, although then it only counted as savings against the luxury tax, now it counts as savings against the cap as well.”


    Not sure what Kurt’s source is on that. No article is linked, so he may have heard it directly from someone in the talks. Two does seem a bit excessive, but it would sure open up a huge pool of FAs.

  33. Howard Beck has Tweeted a few details about the schedule:

    48 conf. games, 18 inter-conf games–so not every team will visit every city.

    Each team will play at least one 3 games in 3 nights sequence, which has not been done in the NBA in nearly forty years. Some teams will do this THREE times.

    There will be some back-to-backs in post-season.

  34. so considering the 5 game suspension on ‘Drew, opening day starting line up?
    1) point guard, Steve Blake
    2) shooting guard, Kobe Bean Bryant
    3) small forward, Metta World Peace
    4) power forward, Lamar Odum
    5) center, Pau Gasol

    I think this line up can win most of the 5 games

  35. As an aside, I think this was just a prelude to the real nuclear winter in 2017–that will be when the owners get a hard cap.

    But until then–play ball.

  36. @Robinred

    I agree with you. This is a prelude to a hard cap. At this point it is what it is. I am just glad to have the game back. Although I have this suspicion we just witnessed the end of the NBA as we knew it. What will follow in the next several years will either be a lot better than what we have seen in recent years or a lot worse.

    At this point its hard to say. I just hope the Lakers can get one more before Kobe rides off into the sunset. I am rooting for Mike Brown to prove all the doubters wrong.

  37. Anonymous @37 is me.

  38. @ Anonymous

    Silver said in the presser that the owners “compromised” by “not getting the system they wanted” which was a “hard cap” and that they “will see how this system works.”

    So, if I had to bet now, I would bet on the 2017-18 season being cancelled–not that anyone should really care about that right now. The “Look at the NHL!” narrative seems to have some traction; Simmons actually used a variation of it.

    I think that a hard cap would have some unintended consequences in the NBA that people wouldn’t like, but it would make it harder to create great teams, which seems to be what a lot of small-market fans actually want. I think it would give a huge advantage to whoever had the best 1-3 players, as it would be harder to put together a team like the 1990 Pistons or the 2010 Celtics–balanced, expensive teams which defeated teams that had the top 1-3 players.

    Under a hard cap, the Lakers as we have known them would not exist–Either Pau or Bynum wouldn’t be here, and neither would MWP. OTOH, Walton never gets a contract that size; neither does Fisher. And, with no one having extra money, I think you would see even more ring-chasers taking Karl Malone-type deals.

    And it all cuts both ways. OKC would probably not be able to keep Durant AND Westbrook AND Ibaka–they may not be able to under this system. Under a hard cap, at around 45M, the owners’ first proposal, no way.

    And Miami would either have to fill out the whole roster with rookies and minimum guys–or Bosh is never involved in the Miami thing. It is just James and Wade.

  39. I know with Metta World Peace and Matt Barnes on the roster, we’re pretty stocked at the SF position, but is anybody else worried about the Thunder’s courting of Shane Battier?

    Durant’s asking what jersey # he prefers: https://twitter.com/#!/KDTrey5/status/140695491057950720

    And Battier responds: https://twitter.com/#!/ShaneBattier/status/140922098360131584

    Not much we can do to counter, but I’m just worried about all the veteran pieces (first Perkins, now Battier?) OKC is adding around their great young core.

  40. Little secret… Batter is no longer good. I’d love for him to be on the floor instead of Durant or Harden.

  41. passionate about pau-no, no one’s worried.

    the Lakers have enough talent in any case. it’s about playing a good game. we’ll have to see if this crew will do that. the Lakers may make a few moves before that happens, themselves.

    but no one’s fretting over where Battier’s playing…

  42. Snoopy2006 (#2),

    Why so down on Dwight Howard (I remember vaguely that you were)? He is the best big man in the league – nearly as dominant as Shaq, but with a much better work ethic. A big 3 of Dwight, Pau, and Kobe would be unstoppable, I feel.

  43. Good to see the crew back on FB&G. Can someone clarify whether over luxury tax teams (Lakers) can take advantage of amnestied players? I’ve been hearing that teams over the tax may either 1) not get to acquire amnestied players, and 2) if they will, the teams under the cap gets first dibs, with the over-tax teams getting the leftovers.

    And I just can’t help but desire Baron Davis or Arenas for this team if they are reachable via amnesty, though the cons against them are well-aired out.

    So great that the season is starting. Was getting ancy and playing NBA2k all the time to compensate for my lack of NBA. Can’t wait for the new journey to start!


    And there was much rejoicing 😀

  45. #44. DY, I’m writing on that topic this afternoon. Give me a couple of hours and I’ll have the details up.

  46. 46. Thanks Darius. Larry Coon must be on his 15th Red Bull dissecting the proposed new deal. I think a lot of Lakers fans were under the assumption we could stockpile a bunch of potential amnestied players (like Rashard Lewis or Arenas, BDavis, etc.).

    I’m also excited for the 2nd round rookies, though they’ll have less room/time to make the team, and will be basically thrown at the regular team instead of other summer camp fodder. But here’s to hoping Darius Morris and G-Lock have something to contribute. Oh, and I guess Lamar is not playing in Turkey anymore!

  47. what a long off season this has been…
    early exit in the playoffs, (at least for us it’s a disappointment to not make the finals) and then the lock out…
    this season is gonna be fast and furious

  48. DY – Nothing against him as a player. He’s the most dominant defensive big man in a long time. I just find his off-the-court stuff grates on me and I’d prefer not to root for him if I had the choice. Also, having grown accustomed to Kobe the killer, I’m not a huge fan of his huge cartoonish smile in the middle of intense playoff games. Partnered with Kobe, I think it wouldn’t be an issue though. I’d just rather go after Chris Paul than Dwight Howard, but there’s no denying he’d take our team to another level.

  49. Darius – my question (that I’m sure you’ll touch on in your piece). Looking at the language of this amnesty clause (http://www.cowbellkingdom.com/2011/11/27/nbas-tentative-labor-agreement-available/), I wonder: is there anything binding about these preliminary bids?

    If Roy (e.g.) is amnestied and doesn’t like any bids coming from under-the-cap teams, is he not allowed to wait and sign with a capped-out team? Does he forfeit his last contract’s salary if he does this? Is it a time-based thing – if he waits a few months, can he sign with a capped-out team in February? Or will capped-out teams be absolutely unable to sign any amnestied players (that are bid on)?

  50. Snoopy2006 (49),

    I can understand your stance on his off-court stuff, especially in contrast to Kobe. But from what I’ve seen, he has an intense drive to win and improve his game so he can become a champion. And that’s where I think Kobe and Dwight could find common ground. Also, I think that in the NBA, size is key to winning championships, which is why, given the choice, I would take Dwight over Chris Paul.

  51. Since a player is under contract to a team, the amnesty would be treated somewhat like a trade, in that the player probably wouldn’t have any say in the team selecting him. Since the players accepted this in the CBA, this option would not be in the player’s hands.

  52. Re: Dwight Howard to LA

    I was under the distinct impression that this lock out was in part about preventing the migration of superstars to wherever they want to go.

    Now, I don’t know the details of the proposed new CBA, but I doubt if approved it will help a superstar, like, say, Dwight Howard, go to LA (rising inflection)?

  53. Snoop said of D. Howard: “I just find his off-the-court stuff grates on me and I’d prefer not to root for him if I had the choice.”

    It’s funny, I feel the exact same way about Kobe … he’s had his share of on-and-off-the court stuff that’s really been irritating over the years.

    I do like looking up at those five banners he helped place at Staples, though.

    Wonder how many Howard could add to the collection?

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